Leptospirosis Alert Continues for Vashon dogs!
Leptospirosis bacteria continues this summer to infect Vashon dogs (dozens of dogs since December 2006) & is anticipated to be a serious threat even now as summer weather dries out standing water carrying the bacteria. Many raccoons have the bacteria too. A handful of dogs have died and humans could be at risk.
Leptospirosis and Your Pet
The bacteria are spread through the urine of infected animals such as raccoons and rodents, which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months. Animals become infected through contact with this contaminated urine (or other body fluids, except saliva), water, or soil. The bacteria can enter the body through skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth), especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch. Drinking contaminated water can also cause infection.
How can I tell if my dog is infected?
Common signs reported in dogs include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, refusal to eat, severe weakness and depression, stiffness, severe muscle pain, or inability to have puppies. Generally younger animals are more seriously affected than older animals.
Is there a treatment for Leptospirosis in pet animals?
Yes, Leptospirosis is treatable with antibiotics. If an animal is treated early, it may recover more rapidly and any organ damage may be less severe. Other treatment methods, such as dialysis and hydration therapy may be required.
The time between exposure to the bacteria and development of disease is usually 5 to 14 days, but can be as short as a few days or as long as 30 days or more.
For more information
CDC Data Sheet for Pets: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/leptospirosis_g_pet.htm
King 5 News story: http://www.king5.com/localnews/stories/NW_011106WABleptospirosisSW.6a18a...
1/27/06 Update: King County's The Epi-Log Newsletter (Volume 46, No. 1 - January 2006) at http://www.metrokc.gov/health/epilog/vol4601.htm